- 256 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1982106662
I’m an avid watcher of antique shows, whether it’s Antiques Roadshow, Pawn Stars, or American Pickers (which I believe is what the author based his fictional show on). More importantly, I’m a collector and am able to find good deals at resale stores every now and then. Sometimes the item call my name from the back of the shelf.
So I understood perfectly well some of the loveable and colorful dealers in Heart of Junk by Luke Geddes. Items are, sometimes, more than just “things”, but almost enchanted objects with souls. If you don’t “get it”, think when your kids left out Sheriff Woody or Buzz Lightyear in the car, and just for a second you wanted to go out into the snow to get them out because they might be cold.
This book is a satire of the antique market culture and the people that inhibit it. The dealer that thinks she deals in high-end antiques and gets bent out of shape when a stall next to her is occupied by a gay couple selling “junk”. A lonely postcard vendor / collector, the dealer who’s just in it for the money, a woman who specializes in Barbie dolls looking for the holy grail of Barbies – and she can also hear them talking to her, among others.
Along with the vendors, the author introduces two sub-plots, one of a missing little girl, and the other of a fictional antique TV reality show which is about to come visit the struggling mall. The novel takes place over four days and is told from seven different points of view. While seven points of view might be a bit too much, I managed to follow along pretty easily, to my surprise.
This was a fun, original novel. It’s not meant to be taken seriously and the author embraces each character’s person, quirks, and stereotype. I appreciated the author staying away from a mean-spirited attempts at being funny at the expanse of his characters. To me it seemed that he does understand the collecting mindset of both collectors and vendors.
At The Heart of America Antique Mall the dealers are excited, a famous antiques television show, Pickin’ Fortunes, are planning to film an episode at the mall and they all believe that this is what they need to turn their flailing businesses around. The show’s producers, however, refuse to film due to the tragedy of an abducted little girl in the area. The dealers know that finding the little girl is paramount for their businesses.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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